Rabbit hunting

WaterDawg

Member
Jun 28, 2008
406
297
Ladera Ranch, CA
Name
Kevin
Boat
17' Whaler
Took my nephew to the Imperial valley where I was told there is good rabbit hunting. We had our .22s with us and got there just after sun-up. Hunted along the East Highline canal and only saw a couple of rabbits, couldn't get a shot off. As it became dark in the afternoon we saw a few more near an alfalfa field along the Alamo River, but it was too dark to shoot by the time they came out in the open.

Question: Anyone have advice for newbie rabbit hunters. Locations, techniques, etc.. It seemed like there was an extremely small window of rabbit activity at dawn and dusk. Do these critters come out at all during the day?

Thanks,
Kevin
 
Upvote 0

creeker

Almost A Member
Sep 18, 2010
122
0
Lakeside, Ca.
Name
Mark
Welcome to the forum Kevin. Cottontails like to hang out near cover during the day. Check out brushy areas. They will sit tight until you get close, then take off fast and dart from bush to bush. I often find them on hillsides. I hunt them any time of day, there are always some moving about. They are pretty hard to hit with a 22, unless you use binoculars and spot them from a distance, before they start their high speed escape. I use a shotgun, it's a lot easier to hit a moving target that way. If you are looking for critters to shoot with the 22, and not necessarily eat, you might want to consider ground squirrels. They are very active at mid-day, are very abundant, and generally perch on rocks out in the open. You will find them in open fields with boulders or rocky areas.
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0

Grabbin_Gils

Smoke'em and Poke'em
Mar 15, 2009
366
2
Menifee CA usa
Name
Trevor
Boat
none yet
Make it a day trip and head out to Daggett they are everywhere out there too.I use a .410 when shooting them but a .22 is fun for sniper style on them
 
Upvote 0

WaterDawg

Member
Jun 28, 2008
406
297
Ladera Ranch, CA
Name
Kevin
Boat
17' Whaler
Make it a day trip and head out to Daggett they are everywhere out there too.I use a .410 when shooting them but a .22 is fun for sniper style on them

Thanks for the reply. I haven't been to Daggett. Are there crops there or something else holding cottontails? From the aerial it looks like just desert?

Thanks
Kevin
 
Upvote 0

WaterDawg

Member
Jun 28, 2008
406
297
Ladera Ranch, CA
Name
Kevin
Boat
17' Whaler
Welcome to the forum Kevin. Cottontails like to hang out near cover during the day. Check out brushy areas. They will sit tight until you get close, then take off fast and dart from bush to bush. I often find them on hillsides. I hunt them any time of day, there are always some moving about. They are pretty hard to hit with a 22, unless you use binoculars and spot them from a distance, before they start their high speed escape. I use a shotgun, it's a lot easier to hit a moving target that way. If you are looking for critters to shoot with the 22, and not necessarily eat, you might want to consider ground squirrels. They are very active at mid-day, are very abundant, and generally perch on rocks out in the open. You will find them in open fields with boulders or rocky areas.

Thanks Mark. Ground squirrells would be fun for target practice. Any suggestion on where to go for them? I see them on private property but not sure where to find huntable land with volume of the critters.

Thanks,
kevin
 
Upvote 0

creeker

Almost A Member
Sep 18, 2010
122
0
Lakeside, Ca.
Name
Mark
I did a quick online search for your area. Not any local public land open for hunting that I could see. Maybe someone else here on the forum knows of some? My favorite ground squirrel spot is here in SD East county. I doubt you would want to drive that far. I see your job is com. real estate appraiser. Maybe you can make some private land contacts close to home that way?
 
Upvote 0

Grabbin_Gils

Smoke'em and Poke'em
Mar 15, 2009
366
2
Menifee CA usa
Name
Trevor
Boat
none yet
Nah Daggett is desert but there are shit loads of brush out there that they hide in during the day and like Creeker said they just jam out from bush to bush.We had alot of fun out there and there is also chukkar out there if you can find them
 
Upvote 0

Baja Dreamer

Push the button Max!
Jul 2, 2004
1,748
8
62
Bakersfield,Ca.
Name
Chris
Boat
None
If you are looking for critters to shoot with the 22, and not necessarily eat, you might want to consider ground squirrels. They are very active at mid-day, are very abundant, and generally perch on rocks out in the open. You will find them in open fields with boulders or rocky areas.

You might want to note that you can only use a .22 for ground squirrels outside of the designated condor zone. Doing so inside the zone wil result in a bigtime ticket!

As a result the damn things are overpopulating several areas around here.
 
Upvote 0

Baja Dreamer

Push the button Max!
Jul 2, 2004
1,748
8
62
Bakersfield,Ca.
Name
Chris
Boat
None
Baja Dreamer said:
You might want to note that you can only use a .22 for ground squirrels outside of the designated condor zone. Doing so inside the zone wil result in a bigtime ticket!

As a result the damn things are overpopulating several areas around here.


can u use a .17 or shotgun?


Not for ground squirrels or any other varmints, unless you're shooting lead free ammo. The only critters you can use a .22 on are tree squirrels and cottontails in the designated condor zone.
 
Upvote 0

creeker

Almost A Member
Sep 18, 2010
122
0
Lakeside, Ca.
Name
Mark
That whole Condor thing is a joke. I can't believe how much money the government wastes on trying to keep these now domesticated birds alive. I don't know why you can't use lead ammo where they are, they would never bother trying to eat a small dead animal off the ground, since the scientists still feed them at the release site. We almost lost some human lives trying to save the caged ones they had out there during the last big fire. Unfortunately, California has changed too much for the Condors to adapt. There will never be an independent wild population here. I'm glad we don't have to deal with that mess down here in San Diego County, yet.
 
Upvote 0

middleofnowhere

Gopher Killer
Sep 16, 2008
3,812
524
Yucca Valley, CA USA
Name
Scott
Boat
Twin Vee "MamaMia"
Shotgun is the way we got them on the run when flushed from cover. Firing a .22 at a moving target can be dangerous if the rabbit runs between you and your buddy.

If you're using a .22, carry a whistle. Blow it when the rabbit gets a ways from you, they will often "freeze". You'll know what to do then.

I have done well where cover is not so thick, like desert scrub in or near river/wash bottom. Spread out and walk the area. The rabbits will hold until you are right on them.

Note: a hawk sounding whistle is best, but any loud safety whistle will often make them stop cold in their tracks.
 
Upvote 0

stairman

......
May 16, 2009
5,402
3,693
ramona /ca/usa
Name
doug
Boat
yak and lowe duck hunting skiff but they identify as sportfishing crusiers
The damn condors are killed by going phase to phase on electrical wires not from lead poisoning!
I was fishing at lake poway one day and a large white pelican(not even as big as a condor) tried to land on the power pole that supplies the pumphouse on the west side of the damn.Suddenly this was a flash of light ,a bammmmm and a puff of smoke.
I looked up in time to see the pelican plummet.When done fishing I hiked up and the bird was burnt from wing tip to wing tip and the breast had exploded!
The only way to save the condor would be to go back 100 years and bury all the electric lines.
 
Upvote 0